Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »
In Los Angeles, on the day of her birthday, the telephone operator Norah Larkin decides to celebrate dining alone at home, with the picture of his beloved fiancé, a soldier overseas, and reading his last letter for her. In the letter he tells that he met a Japanese nurse and he wanted to get married with her. Norah, completely upset, accepts to blind date the Don Juan and photographer of calendar girls Harry Prebble. They go to the Blue Gardenia Club, and Norah drinks six strong cocktails Polynesian Pearl Divers and gets completely drunk. Harry takes her to his apartment and tries to force Norah to have sex, and she uses a poker to hit Harry on the head. On the next morning, she wakes-up in her apartment with her two roommates, but she can not remember what happened. When she reads the newspaper, she finds that Harry is dead and the police has her handkerchief, her high heels and her blue gardenia and is chasing the woman that killed the famous wolf Harry. When she reads in the ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
While the record album of the "Tristan and Isolde" music is never shown close enough to the camera for the movie audience to see it, it either is, or has been created to resemble, a typical 78-RPM album set of the 1940's of an RCA Victor recording featuring Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The cover art greatly resembles that of a 78-RPM album pressing featuring Toscanini conducting that orchestra. Toscanini was considered the greatest conductor of that era. See more »
At the end of Nora's first visit with Mayo at Bill's Cafe, when they are leaving, he is held up by some friends just coming in. She hustles out and gets into a cab of early '50s Chrysler Corporation manufacture (looks like a '53 DeSoto). When Mayo frees himself from his friends and rushes outside, he sees what is apparently meant to be her cab rounding a corner at the end of the block. This time it is a Chrysler product of the late '40s ('47 Desoto, one would guess). DeSotos were very popular as cabs in those days because they were as large as Chryslers, but at the next lower price range. See more »
All right, now tell me just how you murdered Harry Prebble.
Woman on telephone:
You know how I killed him! Do you want to know why? Because I loved him. With a passion that was bigger than both of us!
The size of the passion's important, lady. But tell me first, what size shoe do you wear?
Woman on telephone:
Shoe? 8 1/2 C. I could wear 8, it's just that 8 1/2 is more comfortable.
Sorry, lady. But your feet's too big.
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"Prelude and Liebestod from 'Tristan and Isolde'"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played over the airport loudspeaker, and on the phonograph See more »
The likable Richard Conte makes a great news reporter here, and Anne Baxter as the woman in trouble is pitch perfect. In fact, Baxter's two sidekicks are also right on, Jeff Donnell (a woman, really sharp) and Ann Southern. It's a good story, a little forced, but with lots of atmosphere at the right times (including a scene with the real Nat King Cole playing and singing).
What holds the movie back is a mixture of basic story line, which lacks velocity and credibility equally, and direction, which doesn't heighten what is really strong here. That is, a great cast, and some great situations (including murder). Fritz Lang, the director, is accountable, of course, for some judgements that let things loosen up too much, and for the cute but abrupt ending. There are some characters that got developed in the beginning that don't get a chance to blossom. If we just focus on the two leads (no counting Raymond Burr, who has a brief and different kind of presence), there is a chemistry not quite clicking. Nice, regular guy Conte and slightly sophisticated Baxter don't quite match up, even though both are convincing individually.
There is some talent behind the scenes here worth mention, especially cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca, who has done a whole slew of great small movies with astonishing visuals. Lang uses him well, though with a studied restraint that almost implies this was a throwaway effort. It comes between two of his greatest American movies, however: Clash by Night and The Big Heat. It's worth a look, a good movie not quite a noir by usual measures, but filled with intrigue and a little touch of welcome romance.
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